a monthly newsletter from Integral Care

February 2021: How Do We Create a Better Future?

A Message From Our CEO


This month, we celebrate Black History Month – a time to honor the history and achievements of Black Americans and reflect on the centuries of struggle, racism, discrimination, inequality and inequity. Reflecting on our past creates the opportunity to ensure a healthier future.


Every February, we host the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference (CTAAFSC). This conference is an opportunity to increase health equity while exploring health solutions, fostering relationships, reducing stigma and improving access to care. In its 21st year, the conference was virtual for the first time in response to the pandemic.


Despite being virtual, health professionals, faith leaders, advocates, family members and people living with mental health conditions, substance use disorder or intellectual and developmental disabilities came together to connect, learn, grow and heal.


The conference was a huge success with 40 presenters, almost 30 sessions and nearly 500 attendees. And because we were virtual this year, we welcomed attendees from all over Texas, across the country and Canada. Workshops ranged from discussions of grief and loss to COVID-19 and racism; parenting a child with disabilities to caring for oneself holistically as a person in recovery from substance use disorder. Recordings of all the sessions are available here. If you missed the conference, I encourage you to check out one or more of the impactful workshops and keynote speakers. A big shout out to the CTAAFSC Planning Committee and Integral Care staff for all of their hard work to make the conference a meaningful experience.


We were proud to sponsor and help produce the Yes to Best Youth Summit the day after CTAAFSC. The event brought together youth and young adults ages 14 to 24 (particularly those of color) to explore mental health and wellness. Attendees enjoyed free interactive workshops, panel discussions, keynote speakers, entertainment and giveaways.


Our country faces dual pandemics – COVID-19 and racism. At times like this, it is more important than ever to come together to build a stronger-than-ever network of mental health support for people who are struggling or have faced healthcare disparities and discrimination in the past. We are proud of the work we’re doing to create more equitable access to services and to continue to build an organization that values diversity and equity. I hope you’ll read this month’s highlight below for a deeper dive into our organization’s process and progress toward those goals.


David Evans
Chief Executive Officer


Sparking Conversation & Creating Change: Racial Equity at Integral Care

Photos taken pre-pandemic

Integral Care is committed to discovering and eradicating our own institutional racism and structural inequities. Our board and staff are taking a thoughtful multi-faceted approach to create lasting change.


We continue our work in creating a culture of racial equity, inclusion and belonging with the Board/Staff Task Force on Racial Equity created last July. Through the Committee’s efforts, we are now a member of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity, a national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities. We are preparing for a racial equity assessment of the organization and hiring a consultant to conduct interviews with staff, community members an​d collaborators. The Board of Trustees, Executive Management Team and Ad Hoc Committee members will also be participating in a 2-day workshop with Joyce James Consulting to further the agency’s work in this area. Ms. James is a national expert in the field of racial equity and cultural competency.

Class held pre-pandemic

Class held pre-pandemic


At Integral Care, we strive to create opportunities to celebrate diversity and improve ourselves and our approach to care. In our Care for Culture class staff learn about bias at the individual and systemic level, social determinants of health, and practical strategies to improve quality of care and service delivery. Related to African Americans, we discuss health disparities and the legacy of discrimination that perpetuates and increases these disparities. Our ability to embrace the diverse strengths of our clients, community, and each other begins with an appreciation for diversity.



This month, we continue education and dialogue opportunities for staff with Race: Power of an Illusion. Staff will have an opportunity to watch this documentary series and engage in facilitated discussions focusing on perceptions of race and the impact on others. This work builds upon a staff-led book club on How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram Kendi. Each week focused on a chapter of the book and staff discussed reflections on the book as well as themselves.

Celebrate Black History Month with Our Staff Movie & Book Lists


Creating a more just and equitable future requires that each of us commit to learning about and owning our history and exploring our own personal beliefs and biases. Several Integral Care staff members have the perfect recommendations for Black History Month to help us on our journey.


These lists were compiled by Provider Network Authority Officer Louise Lynch, Director of Practice Management Projects Kim Macagiage and Director of Nursing and Medical Analytics Jacqueline Mosley. For ideas to celebrate Black History Month both around town and online, KXAN has compiled a great list.

Movies Books
I Am Not Your Negro (Netflix) Just released – Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019 (by Kendi and Blain)
13th (Netflix) The Dead Are Rising: The life of Malcolm X (by Les Payne)
Loving (Netflix) Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change (by Stacey Abrams)


Mudbound (Netflix) Things Fall Apart (by Chinua Achebe)
When They See Us (Netflix) Their Eyes Were Watching God (by Zora Neal Hurston)
Rosewood (Amazon Prime) Strength to Love (by Martin Luther King Jr.)
Glory (Amazon Prime) The Souls of Black Folks (by W.E.B. Du Bois)
Hidden Figures (Amazon Prime) I know Why the Caged Bird Sings (by Maya Angelou)
The Tuskegee Airman (Amazon Prime) The Autobiography of Malcolm X (by Alex Haley)
Ms. Jane Pittman (Amazon Prime) Before the Mayflower (by Lerone Bennett Jr.)
12 Years a Slave (Amazon Prime) Soul of Ice (by Eldridge Cleaver)
Blackklansman (Amazon Prime) Go Tell it on the Mountain (by James Baldwin)
Green Book (Amazon Prime) A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of MLK
Amistad (Amazon Prime) For children – Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History (by Vashti Harrison)
4 Little Girls (Amazon Prime) For children – Little Leaders: Bold Men in Black History (by Vashti Harrison)
Harriet (Amazon Prime) Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (by Linda Brent)
Men of Honor (Amazon Prime)
Selma (Amazon Prime)

What’s New at Integral Care

  • As of February 5th, 911 callers with mental health emergencies are immediately directed to one of our clinicians. Austin is the first city in the country to change their opening prompt to allow 911 callers to choose either police, fire, EMS, or mental health services. CBS Austin covered the story.
  • Austin is expecting some seriously cold weather this week. Help a neighbor experiencing homelessness by creating a Winter Care Package through our Amazon Charity List to help keep someone warm and safe.
  • We will be hosting a Community Forum in March focused on supporting caregivers of adults and children living with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The panel will feature a board-certified behavior analyst, therapist and parent. Stay tuned for the date and time.


January 2021: Looking Ahead to the Legislative Session

December 2020: Supporting Your Mental Health This Winter

November 2020: How do we rebuild health and well-being during a pandemic?

October 2020: With Collaboration Comes Innovation

September 2020: Success Stories of Recovery and Suicide Prevention

August 2020: A Back to School Season Like Never Before

July 2020: Minority Health Disparities & COVID-19

June 2020: Stronger Together

May 2020: Surviving and Thriving During Uncertain Times

April 2020: Persevering During COVID-19

March 2020: Collaborations and Initiatives to Improve Health for the IDD Population

February 2020:Solutions to Health and Health Care Disparities

January 2020: Sucicide Prevention a Local Effort

December 2019: A Year of Thriving Care & Collaboration

November 2019: Teamwork and Collaboration Impact Homelessness in Travis County

October 2019:Making Strides for World Mental Health

September 2019: Taking Steps to Recovery Support

August 2019: Working Together for Child & Youth Mental Health

July 2019: Legislative Wrap-Up – Some Bipartisan Wins for Healthcare

June 2019: Strengthening Access for Veterans and the Entire Military Family

May 2019: Women and Mental Health

April 2019: Legislative Session Status Report

March 2019: Making Opportunities for Recovery More Accessible

February 2019: Recovery is Possible

January 2019: Stronger Outcomes Through Collaboration

December 2018: Looking ahead to the 86th Texas Legislature

November 2018: How Tech is Changing the Face of Mental Health

October 2018: A Few Questions Could Help Save a Life

September 2018: Anyone Can Save a Life

August 2018: A Milestone Moment

July 2018: Equity in Mental Health Care for All

June 2018: Expanding Services for Veterans

May 2018: Your Mental Health Toolkit

April 2018: Time of Terror Calls for Increased Emotional Support

March 2018: Stopping the cycle of incarceration for individuals with mental illness

February 2018: Equity in mental healthcare for everyone

January 2018 : Improving Mental Health Through Partnership & Collaboration

December 2017: Strength Through Community

November 2017 : Healthy Lifestyles Improve Well-Being

October 2017 : National Child Health Day

September 2017 : Strengthening Families and Communities